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Libyan delegation arrives in Syria to discuss Idlib

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar [AP]
Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar [AP], 28 January 2020

A Libyan delegation affiliated to the government of the Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar has arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Saturday to discuss the situation in the country’s north-western region of Idlib.

Libyan News Agency (LANA) reported that the delegation had included the Haftar government’s Prime Minister, Abdul-Rahman Al-Ahiresh, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdul-Hadi Al-Hawaij. The delegation was received at the Damascus International Airport by the Syrian deputy foreign minister, Faisal Miqdad, and the ministry’s director Arab world affairs, Milad Attia.

The delegation met with the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and discussed cooperation between the two countries “in countering the Turkish moves and combating terrorism.”

Other local sources said that the visit was aiming at “coordinating cooperation between the two government on the political and security levels.”

READ: Turkey destroys scores of Syrian army targets incl airport, air defences and tanks

Turkey and Russia agreed in September 2018 to turn Idlib – the last stronghold of the Syrian opposition – into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the zone since then as the ceasefire continues to be violated.

The de-escalation zone is currently home to 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.

More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

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